Tag Archives: TMDL

2013 Local Election is About Jobs…but what about Water? How does Whatcom County fix this?

Today has been another bellwether day, where more problems are being created than resolved.  As the voting for local candidates and issues in Whatcom County has begun,  the staff at “Whatcom Wins,” (aka: Whatcom Democrats) have attempted to turn the conversation to; trains, railroads, coal, CO2, global warming, water quality, GMO’s and everything under their green moldy kitchen sinks.  But their dirty little secret, which most of the local voters have no idea of, is that they continue to actively work in the background with WA State DOE and Whatcom County Planning and Development Services, to change the language in our local and state water code.   Current code allows for property owners to put in a well and septic system to improve their property for small, rural farms and residential living.  This lifestyle could be coming to an abrupt halt if our elected quasi-judicial County Council representatives swings towards the extreme, progressive agenda, that the Whatcom Democrat Central Committee has embraced.  A great resource for anyone who currently takes their water from a private well is this group: Whatcom Private Well Owners.  Connect with this organization to stay abreast of what’s happening with rural water/septic regulations and code. Please …

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Just Another Dull Day at Whatcom County Council

Last Tuesday’s County Council Committee meetings and on into the evening County Council Public meeting it was anything but dull. The day started out in the Natural Resources Committee meeting with discussion on the County’s new Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) ordinance.  The Council heard from Assistant Director at Whatcom County Public Works, Chris Brueske on the how the AIS program is going. Discussion regarding requested changes to Whatcom County Code 2.27A, Aquatic Invasive Species (AB2013-146A) AIS Education Card Program Brueske Comment: The program is going well.  There have been no real issues as of yet except for one boater who got angry and ran over some cones.  Canadian boaters seem to be the customers who are not aware of the new program. Council Comment:  We need to remember that the staff is being asked to educate, inspect, and sell the permit sticker in a short period of time. Council Comment:  Most of the complaints are from boaters who only use Lake Whatcom or Lake Samish and do not understand why they should have to go through this process more than once. Council Comment:  Do we know how much the program is going to cost and are we collecting enough funds …

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Council Actions May 7, 2013

Tonight at the Whatcom County Council evening meeting there were a number of issues that were  discussed which will have huge implications on personal property rights to all of us.  Here is a brief rundown of what transpired that I believe we all need to keep our eyes and ears tuned in to: AB2013-102 – Proposed amendments to Whatcom County Code Chapter 20.51, Lake Whatcom Watershed Overlay District; PLN2011-00015.  This is related to the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) to remove surface water runoff and reduce phosphorus loading in the Lake Whatcom Watershed.  This presentation showed the proposed Dept. of Ecology “code updates,” and will require that undeveloped property in the Lake Whatcom Watershed have in place the planning and implementation, of a stormwater dispersion system before commencement of any development.  The property owner will be required to qualify for an NPDS (National Pollutant Discharge System) permit before being allowed to develop the land. How long before this new regulation is required of anyone wanting to sell their home located on the watershed? How long after that before all property owners in the watershed are required to install an NPDS certified stormwater dispersion system? Perry Esteridge (real estate law specialist) …

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Saturday Morning Live for April 27, 2013

“The Solution to Pollution is Dilution;” Water Issues in Whatcom County and Jack Petree’s petition to GMHB on the Lk Whatcom Reconveyance Host Kris Halterman hosts a round table discussion of water issues in Whatcom County and Washington State, with Planning Commissioner Dave Onkels and Lorraine Newman. Jack Petree will discuss his petition to deny the WC Council’s request of reconveyance on the Lake Whatcom Trust Land. YouTube video; “Ocean Circulation and Sedimentation in the San Juans”: A compilation of mainstream scientific literature.  Dr. David Hyde

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A Good Citizen

I am trying to be a good citizen.  I have started attending county council meetings, and county council committee meetings.  If you read my last post (Teamwork 101)  you get a sense that for the new comer this can be a mind-boggling experience.  However, because I attended the WIT meeting last week I had an opportunity on Monday to talk “one-on-one” with a committee member about how and what they were attempting to communicate was not what was being heard. Our conversation did help us both realize that the communication gulf was wider than either of us expected.  I can only hope I was helpful in trying to bridge the gap. Yes, words matter and knowing your audience is crucial to clear communication. Tuesday, I sat in on a meeting of the county’s Natural Resources committee.  The first discussion was about conservation easements. I have a list of questions to ask people who know this stuff so that I can have a better understanding of the issues. The next presentation was about Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) in the Lake Whatcom watershed.  Quite early in Steve Hood’s presentation he made the comment “ I guess you could say thank goodness …

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Will Whatcom County be Bankrupted by TMDL?

Haven’t heard of TMDL?  You’re probably not alone and sadly many homeowners in Whatcom County may not learn about it until they open up their property tax assessments or try to sell their home.  The acronym of TMDL, stands for “total maximum daily load.”   This probably doesn’t mean much to you, but to keep it simple, the Department of Ecology (DoE) is proposing(?), or mandating(?) due to the Clean Water Act from the EPA (environmental protection agency) that surface water run-off from impervious surfaces be reduced by 87%. Currently surface water run-off is handled in many ways on our homes and property.  Gutters, down-spouts, drain tiles, french-drains, ditches, culverts and  retention ponds are many of the common processes currently in use.  One thing that all of these processes have in common is that eventually the water enters the city sewer system or the surrounding water sources.  The goal of DoE’s surface water reduction, or benchmark, for TMDL is to prevent that run-off from entering the storm water system or natural waterways, thus reducing the elevation of phosphorous introduction into Lake Whatcom.  It has been determined that phosphorous loading to the lake is an issue for Lake Whatcom water Basins 1 …

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